SMS marketing for holiday shoppers
The rush of holiday shopping is nearing its peak this week. As people wade through the frenzy and chaos of trying to find the perfect gift, a text message from your store might be just what they need. At least that’s what a study form MarketLive might be telling us.
Their study focuses on mobile users and what it is they want from retailers this shopping season. The results are encouraging – and exciting – for any retailer who connects with customers using a mobile device.
While the study covers many different aspects of mobile marketing, I want to focus here on the ones related to SMS. After all, there are a few days left before Christmas, which is plenty of time to get together an SMS campaign to reach those last minute shoppers. But some of the other aspects of mobile examined by Marketlive would take a bit longer to implement. Unless of course you already have aisle maps available in an app for your store. You don’t? Then let’s get back to what you can do with SMS.
People are ready to give it up
One of the hardest things about SMS marketing is getting the information you need from your customers – their mobile number at a minimum. People are generally guarded about giving out their personal numbers, but that might be changing. MarketLive found that 55% of people surveyed felt comfortable sharing their information and preferences with marketers – if they got something in return. In general people thought it was worth sharing when doing so offered them convenience and personalised product recommendations.
“Text alerts are now an accepted way to receive coupons and promotions,” says Ken Burke, CEO of Marketlive , “and personalised product suggestions based on prior purchases or online viewing patterns are now expected.”
That last sentence is a pretty bold statement. While there’s a convenience factor to getting personalised suggestions, there’s also a creepy factor when it’s obvious the suggestion came because the company knows what you’ve been doing online. It’s a fine line really, but the data appears to show more and more people are accepting what good it can do, rather than worry what can be learned about them. Privacy is losing out to convenience. That’s a good thing for marketers, as long as they protect and manage the data they gather appropriately (or else be subject to a PR and legal nightmare).
Another trend the study found is how text messages impact in-store shopping. For example, 78% of respondents are likely to visit a store after they receive an SMS alert prior to their going to the shops. The article on the study doesn’t make it clear whether those 78% were already planning to go shopping or if the messages prompted the shopping trip, but either way, sending an SMS message got those people into the store.
Another 69% want in-store text messages sent to them. This means they’re comfortable with the store knowing they are there, and then triggering a special text message for them while they are shopping. This is a special case of localised SMS marketing that can be implemented in a variety of ways.
Happy accidents, or localised messaging, result in 62% of people making a purchase after receiving an offer sent to their mobile while they are in the store. That’s an impressive number for sure, but there’s no breakdown of how the offer was received – by signing up to an SMS marketing list, by simply entering the store (localised messaging) or if they got it coincidentally on their visit. But if you’re able to send SMS messages to people while they are visiting your store, you’ve got a great shot at making a sale.
In the few days left before Christmas why not set up an SMS marketing campaign of your own? If there are people in your store, you’ll certainly increase the chances they’ll buy something if you send them a message. And don’t forget, you’ll increase the chance that they’ll even come to your store too.
Can SMS marketing increase sales numbers? In the next entry of our Results Series you’ll see the kinds of results that real companies achieved. We’ve rounded up sales numbers and timelines to show you how well, and how fast, SMS marketing can improve your sales.
Sometimes bloggers or journalists get a bit carried away. They see some data or fact, and run off to declare there’s a trend you need to know about. The latest one I’ve seen is all about how to reach the generation of “cashless shoppers”. The argument goes that you need to use SMS messaging to reach customers because they are all shopping online – where you obviously can’t pay in cash.
Mobile marketing offers an unprecedented access to your customers virtually any time, anywhere. This is particularly true for SMS marketing because it is “always on”. Customers don’t have to be surfing the web, or using an app to receive messages. Instead, they see the marketing messages right alongside ones from their friends and family.
E-commerce businesses have a huge problem. Consumers fill up their shopping carts, then rudely abandon them before completing a purchase. Of course, they don't mean to be rude, they have their reasons for leaving a full cart behind. But what if it were possible to get some of those sales back?
SMS coupons have redemption rates ten times email coupons. Averages run around 30%, but they could be as high as 45% for personalised messages. Even with those great numbers, retailers can still lose money to fraud. Find out how make sure customers only redeem your coupon once.
You've run a successful SMS opt-in campaign for your retail store. Now that you have your list, do you have a plan to keep them from opting out? Wait, you mean there's more to this than just sending out coupon codes? There is if you want to keep your customers from opting out.
SMS marketing or short messaging service marketing is swiftly gaining popularity all over the world. Using text messages for business purposes is convenient and quick. It's also extremely cost-effective when compared to other methods of communication. When used correctly, an SMS marketing campaign can do wonders for your business reputation, not to mention your profits.
Every good retail business owner knows that the key to success is keeping his or her customers happy. Your level of customer service should be all encompassing to succeed and should consist of more than just being polite to the customer at the till.
When you think about your SMS marketing campaigns would you label them as fun? Is there any aspect of your SMS marketing or loyalty program that you think customers would call fun? If so, you're going to love what you read in this blog. If not, then you need to read this blog. It turns out that a little bit of fun and games can keep your customers more engaged – and more loyal.